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Anybody Want A Cat?

Just joking, but sometimes I might wish for mine to be a breed other than a tortoiseshell. The rather strange spelling of their breed’s name should be your first clue.

Tortoiseshells or ‘torties’ for short, are known for their ‘unique’ personalities.

(Wikipedia) Tortoiseshell cats are sometimes credited with having a strong-willed and hot-tempered personalityCat aficionados believe these feisty personality traits are linked to the unique pattern of the cat’s fur coat. Folklore also attributes the “torties” with bringing their owners luck.

As to that last bit, bringing me luck is the least she could do considering…

My cat’s name is Smokey, her middle name is ‘helpful’. it’s bed making morning and she’s ready to do her part.

Here she is inspecting the fresh sheets…yep, they’re ready to go.

Mom, Bella wants to help too. (Oh, joy)

Obviously, blankets can be a bit of a hassle.

Almost there.

Oops, did that little pile of cat fur come off of ME onto these nice clean sheets? Bummer.

Whew, am I glad that’s done…time for a little nap.

But the help doesn’t end there. Smokey is constantly (well, when she’s not napping) on cat patrol. Fortunately, our house has lots of windows where the perimeter can be closely observed from within on every side.

Though my crafting may need to halt momentarily while the threat assessment has been completed and the situation controlled.

This is typical Smokey behavior, when she’s awake – she’s VERY awake. It’s a constant round of her entering and exiting her cat door (a convenience we installed the first year of her adoption in order to preserve our sanity and her life after endless ‘doorman’ services were required and punished if not obtained. Like a petulant two year old, she would rattle the window blinds, run across our laps (claws out) or walk around the house yowling her displeasure, and this wasn’t just in the daytime – ohh no.

And to think we originally decided to make this cat an indoor kitty…we quickly realized our error when blitzing out an open door or actually smuggling herself out by walking directly under the dog when the dog went out – Smokey would get out and then we’d spend half an hour trying to capture her and get her back in the house. Now, an indoor/outdoor cat she is!

She does have her entertaining side, too. We call it ‘get the kitty’. Whether it’s ripping by the dog’s nose as she lays at our feet or a tempting ‘meow’ from the living room – the dog is off growling and running to get the cat. Can you imagine being a seven pound cat and having a 70 pound dog come charging after you? It would be like a person having a bear attack. But Smokey loves it and Bella’s happy to ‘get the kitty’. It’s a daily (usually multiple times) occurrence that the cat always instigates. The dog tussles her all around, licking her until her hair is in spikes and nibbles her up and down her spine as they play. The cat asserts her dominance by rearing up on her back legs and swatting rapidly at the dog…pretty much anywhere she can reach at the moment, Bells is not overly affected (like any thing’s going to get through that fur).

We have a circular floor plan so the cat can dash off into the north side of the house and come out to the east or west and Bella’s favorite sport is to be waiting at the anticipated exit point to ‘get the kitty’ again.

But torties are also known for something else…being excellent mousers. I think that multicolored coat is a big part of the reason, she’s cammo cat!

Smokey is the supreme huntress (like most torties). And thanks to her very own cat door she can bring us a special treat whenever she desires.

It’s about 50/50 as to whether the gifts are alive or dead, however. Half the time Smoke believes in the ‘catch and release’ policy. Hubby has thick enough calluses on his hands – he just grabs them up and puts them back outside, me, I require a pair of garden gloves to perform the same procedure. Needless to say, Rock repatriates more mice to the backyard then I do…it takes too long for me to get to my gloves and then get them on, and by then the smart mouse is long gone.

We’ve had Smokey for about three years now. I suspect her mother was a feral cat and unlike most adopted animals who are VERY devoted to their ‘saviors’ – Smoke barely tolerated petting and NEVER picking up when we first brought her home.

She immediately trained the dog to the new house rules and pretty much had her humans hopping to her desires. She quickly earned the nickname ‘shithead’.

She’s come a long way on her journey though, now she actually likes to be petted (as long as she’s laying on a pillow in your lap…no direct lap contact, please). Still, we can’t pick her up without a lot of vocal protest.

But there’s no doubt, she loves her dog and Bella loves her kitty.

Aren’t animals fascinating? Hope you got a smile out of this.

Stay well friends, till next time – Kriss

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